SAFETY

Working Around Power Lines and Cables

WORKING AROUND POWER LINES AND CABLES 

Keep well clear of all power lines and underground cables – it could save your life. You need to follow some simple safety rules and legal requirements if you are planning on doing work anywhere where you may come into contact with poles, power lines, underground cables or any other equipment on the Buller Electricity network.

GET READY BEFORE WORKING NEAR OVERHEAD POWER LINES OR UNDERGROUND CABLES

If you come into contact with an overhead power line or hit an underground cable, you or your workmate could be seriously injured or killed. Before you start work on private or public property you are, by law, required to follow the right, safe working practices. You must: 

  • Follow minimum safe distances when working or building near lines
  • Obtain reference maps to indicate the approximate location of our network lines/cables
  • Seek onsite advice (where required) and/or Close Approach consent for work near Buller Electricity’s overhead lines and power poles
  • Apply for a High Load transport permit for loads over 4.25 metres in height
  • Arrange service disconnections before building removals or demolitions

Contact us before you start work and please allow:

  • Two working days to obtain reference maps, service disconnections and permits to work (more time for large projects)
  • Up to 4 working days for Close Approach requests
  • Up to 5 working days for High Load permits

DOING DIY NEAR POWER LINES? ARRANGE FOR A TEMPORARY DISCONNECTION

If you are painting, water blasting, repairing a roof, tree trimming or doing other DIY work near Buller Electricity power lines or a private service line, request a temporary disconnection to avoid electrocution. If you are working at heights near power lines you not only risk getting a serious electric shock, but could be severely injured by the resulting fall from a ladder or scaffolding.
Contact us to arrange a temporary disconnection. The service is typically free for house owners during normal business hours when planned in advance.

BUILDING NEAR POWER LINES

In order to obtain a building consent from the Buller District Council, site plans showing the location of any overhead power lines, must be provided. The minimum distances from power lines at which buildings can be located without our consent are detailed in the table and diagram below. Please consult Buller Electricity when planning to build near power lines to confirm the power voltage and minimum distances.
Overhead Line Voltage / Minimum Distance to the Side of Power Lines
33kV – High Voltage / 8.5m
11kV – High Voltage / 5m
400V – Low Voltage / 3.5m

WORKING NEAR OVERHEAD POWER LINES AND POLES

When working near overhead power lines or poles follow safe working practices and maintain minimum approach distances at all times. The diagram below indicates the minimum approach distances to power lines and poles with and without Buller Electricity consent. Please consult Buller Electricity when planning work to confirm the power line voltage and minimum distances.

Without our consent all work activity must be kept at least 4 metres from overhead lines for your safety and the safety of others. We can provide comprehensive safety information and advice for anyone working near overhead power lines.
If you need to work closer than 4 metres to our overhead power lines, you will need to complete an Overhead Line Close Approach Request Form and receive our approval prior to commencing work. Plan your work and contact us well in advance of when you intend to start work.

DIGGING UNDREGROUND

Before you dig near cables or install stakes in the ground always check the location of underground cables and network equipment first. We can provide comprehensive safety guidelines, information, advice, and a cable location service to anyone working near underground cables.

TRANSPORTING HIGH LOADS

Before you transport any tall structure, such as a house or boat, more than 4.25 metres in height, you must contact us and apply for a high load transport approval, so that we can confirm that your load will not come into contact with overhead power lines.
Charges may apply if the load is more than 5.4 metres high and an escort is required.